Being asked to write about my thoughts on being a woman raised in the North-Eastern part of India on International Women’s Day, I first want to tell you that I am who I am because of my upbringing in SHILLONG. I made sure that even if I left Shillong under tragic circumstances and landed in a foreign land, my heart was always in Shillong. I made sure to keep in touch with my roots. So when I came across hills and mountains, the fragrance of the pines, whether it was in Chicago or elsewhere, my heart would ache for Shillong.
International women’s day is not just about women but more about men in my view. A day we want to remind men we want respect irrespective of our job title, looks, our single or married status. We as women have our desires, too, whether sexual, independence, or financial, to go out at night alone and not fear being raped or touched in places where we do not want to be touched. We have a right to have a job of our choice, marry of our choice, file for divorce if things don’t work out, not have to change our dress code just because we lose our husband to death, and have the same right as a man has. But I also believe that a man cannot exist without a woman, and a woman cannot live without a man. God has made us where we need to rely on each other for many things. One point that comes to mind is when I moved to Chicago. I could not do it alone. The heavy furniture was one issue besides many others. I sometimes feel that too much right to women’s education and job rights has destroyed many families like no other time in history. Yes, women should not take mental or physical abuse from anyone – a husband, brother, or son. But where is the balance to be drawn? That is what we are missing.
As far as the ME TOO MOVEMENT, initially, it was a good drive, but now it has come to the point that many women are abusing men in the name of women’s rights, and that is WRONG. We have to understand that we need to stand side by side with men to run a family and society, a country, and the world.
Now, I want to talk to women who have gone through rape or attempted rape or molestation as a child. All I want to tell you is – IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, as simple as that, and that should not define WHO YOU ARE.
The stories of my life are long and many. But this is it for today. I wish all of you who are reading this a HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!
(The article is solely the opinion of the author. The views expressed here are solely personal and not in any way connected to any organisation or any political party )